Present day Tokyo. The word out on the street is that a new talented street fighter has appeared. She’s calling herself Air Master, and so far she’s proving to be pretty invincible…

Super tall 16-year old Maki Aikawa was once one of the top gymnasts in Japan. Now, living on her own and attending a new school as a freshman student, Maki is trying to recapture those feelings of tension and pressure by fighting. She seeks to revive the legend of “Airborne Street Fighting”, a style based on jumping strength and airborne maneuvering.

To find her happiness while fighting, Maki continues to search for an opponent stronger than her. Now, her new friends can only watch on and support her as Maki continues to battle on, making new friends and even more enemies.

After all, the legend of the Air Master has begun!

Air Master is a 27 episode long 2003 action comedy martial arts anime series, directed by Nishio Daisuke and produced by Toei Animation.

The story revolves around an exceptionally strong girl who fights to try and recapture the feelings of her past. Unfortunately, the quality of the series just about ends with that sentence. Although Air Master has some cool fighting ideas and some good characters, it just can’t establish any serious dramatic sort of tone. Even the humour it employs often devolves into little more than pretty crude toilet laughs rather than anything actually funny.

In addition to this, it also manages to score bonus negative points for having two of the worse characters ever designed. The extrememly large-breasted Mina who is made to run ever so often, and the extremely short, child-like Renge who is so irritating it is almost impossible to describe.

The series is pretty episodic in nature, with Maki meeting up with new fighters and taking them on, though a few recurring characters are eventually formed, and they do go on to appear throughout the show. Maki’s personal history is kept pretty shrouded, with bits and pieces revealed as the series progresses, so at least some sense of enigma is maintained.

The animation is not bad, movements are fluid, the fighting is good and the colours are vibrant, and apart from Renge’s voice, the voice acting is also not that bad. There is an especially enjoyable end track for the series now that I think about it.

This title won’t evoke much emotion from you, except perhaps for a few cheap laughs here and there. The fighting is okay, especially Maki’s airborne fighting style, but apart from that, you can probably give this one a miss.

If you are looking for something similar, and which is probably (marginally) a little better, try Ikkitousen instead.

(Historic Note of interest: This review was written back in 2004)

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